Blue Jays' defensive plan backfires against Athletics

Blue Jays second baseman Munenori Kawasaki (66) is unable to control the ball between centre...

Blue Jays second baseman Munenori Kawasaki (66) is unable to control the ball between centre fielder Anthony Gose (8) and right fielder Melky Cabrera (53) during fifth inning MLB action against the Athletics in Oakland on Thursday, July 3, 2014. (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:16 AM ET

OAKLAND - Sacrificing defence for offence is a perpetual risk-reward gamble that every baseball manager agonizes over.

Wednesday, John Gibbons won big by playing Edwin Encarnacion in left field, allowing him to get Adam Lind’s bat into the lineup. Lind went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Encarnacion didn’t have to field even a ground ball in left. The kicker was a three-run walk-off homer by Encarnacion that sent Toronto to a 7-4 victory.

Thursday was a different story, however. Gibbons tried the same gambit against the Oakland A’s and the ball found Encarnacion in the fateful second inning, costing the Blue Jays at least one run and maybe two runs in a 4-1 loss to the Athletics.

Normally a first baseman, Encarnacion misjudged a ball hit by Oakland’s Stephen Vogt, allowing it to get over his head for a double that set up the A’s for a two-run inning.


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